June 18, 2019
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Monday, June 3, 2019: Protect biodiversity, a fishy OpEd, Canadian drug prices

Protect biodiversity

Today I identify as a New Englander, but I grew up in northern California, where my childhood experiences were made among the oak woodlands on beautiful sunny days by the river. Now California is losing millions of precious wildlands due to fires and climate change.

Habitat loss is affecting biodiversity throughout the world. In fact, the U.N. reports that the average abundance for species of most major land-based habitats has dropped 20 percent since the 1900s. Among them are honey bees. Beekeepers report losing an average of 30 percent of honey bee populations each winter, which has alarming consequences for our environment and food supply. Bees pollinate most of the food we eat, and without them we wouldn’t have nutritious foods like blueberries and apples, which would take from our economy here in New England.

We are working to tackle both habitat loss and climate change, however those issues will take federal action and more cooperation from the left and right. Today, we can help save bee populations by banning bee-killing pesticides. Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides detrimental to bees and have been restricted in Vermont, Maryland and Connecticut. It is time to make Maine one of the leaders in saving our pollinators and protecting our biodiversity.

Ashley Brown

Portland

A fishy OpEd

In his May 24 OpEd, Nordic Aquafarms CEO Erik Heim touts land-based fish factories as sustainable means of food production. But the OpEd fails to consider the production of the fish food used and is thus misleading.

Heim cites a “35-acre effective footprint” and claims 1.7 million pounds of fish per acre, but this omits the substantial acreage used to produce soy and other fish food ingredients. Much of that soy comes from Brazil, where many soybean farms have been cut of the Amazon rainforest, thus effectively increasing the carbon dioxide figure Heim cites.

Heim says pesticides “have no place” in land-based fish factories, but Brazilian soy is laced with pesticides and according to Non-GMO Project, 94 percent of U.S. soybeans are genetically modified.

Finally, Heim dismisses as “previously logged” the 35 acres of Maine forest Nordic proposes to destroy and pave over. But the Belfast Woods were logged long ago and are now home to big, majestic, carbon-sequestering trees. And Heim fails to mention that Nordic proposes to build some of the world’s biggest fish tanks very close to the wondrous and popular Little River Trail.

Lawrence Reichard

Belfast

Canadian drug prices

This is a brief recount of what has just happened to me and maybe of some benefit. If nothing else, it may raise your blood pressure. About six months ago I was diagnosed with an intestinal problem. Not serious, just enough to be bothersome. Medical people told me of a prescription that might work, but it was expensive. I asked for them to print off a sheet and I would go to my drugstore and get a price. The price was $908.20 because I had not met my deductible. If I had met my deductible, it would have been $609.78.

Being a frugal yankee, I opted to go online and shop things around. I happened upon CIPARx which stands for Canadian International Pharmacy Association. They have a complete list of Certified Safe Online Pharmacy websites. Picking one of the websites, I found that I could buy

the needed prescription for $86 plus $10 shipping.

After doing a little more research, I found the price difference was in part because the Canadian Government negotiates the drug prices. My medical professional did not have an issue with faxing the prescription to the Canadian Pharmacy, we then received a call from them, opened an application and bingo, the prescription is on its way.

The only negative to all this is that delivery will be 2-3 weeks away as the shipment is coming from India.

Think we should send a message to our lobbyist friends and representatives in Washington?

Fred Carey

St George



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